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[hocna] Sermon of Fr. Isaac for Mother Matrona's Funeral

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  • Peter Carras
    Sermon of Fr. Isaac for Mother Matrona s Funeral St. Glykeria May 13/26, 1999 In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. O
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 1999
      Sermon of Fr. Isaac for Mother Matrona's Funeral

      St. Glykeria
      May 13/26, 1999

      In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

      "O death, where is thy victories, O Hades, where is thy sting." Through
      the words we hear from the holy Apostle Paul, when he talks to us about
      that Resurrection of our Saviour. Wherein Hades will be demolished and
      the gates of Paradise will be opened. No longer will the soul be captive
      by Satan and the fruits of the fall of our forefathers. Which through
      our Saviour's holy Resurrection we'll all have life everlasting.
      And, how comforting it is when one comes to the burial of someone who
      reposes in the hope of life everlasting, in the Resurrection of our
      Saviour. For the one doesn't come to some grieving moment but, a moment
      of joy, a moment of exultation, at the thought that one is departing
      from this mortal and fleeting life, this life of pain and sorrow, of
      tribulation, of difficulty, to that hope of being near our Saviour in
      that life, the hope of that life eternal. That concept which is so hard
      for us to conceive – eternity. And yet, as we give our last adieu's to
      our dear, Mother Matrona we come to that consolation that she lived for
      life everlasting. And that's why, years back, when hearing the gospel
      "Martha, Martha, thou art troubled by many things", she left her
      homeland, she went on a pilgrimage in the late 1960's, about 1967, to go
      to the Holy Land with Fr. Panteleimon, and never again to return back to
      what she called her paternal home but, to a new home. The seed was
      planted when the Elder used to go and visit the parish of Fr. George
      Macris, when we were in communion with the Greek Archdiocese and before
      he took his courageous step to leave the Greek Archdiocese, to come away
      from modernism, so that one could have a true confession of faith. And,
      Mother Matrona then was the pious Margaret, who would hear the sermons
      and the talks of Fr. Panteleimon and she had a good earth. And, the seed
      went into the good earth and sprung forth a plant and she said, "He
      speaks of life everlasting, then why am I attached to this fleeting
      life?" And, so she came back East. What an act of faith. She came back
      to be a convent when there was no convent. And, because at that time we
      were there with a full house on Orchard St., remember the few that we
      were, we were looking for a new house, when we had really no funds to do
      so. It was all a dream until our benefactress, Mother Philothei, came
      around. And, Mother Matrona, along with Nina Seco from Seattle, were
      renting an apartment in Jamaica Plain with the sister of our Mother
      Philothei, there on St. John Street, there in Jamaica Plain, waiting for
      the time when we would find a new place and they would be able to
      inhabit our old dwelling. And, that was patience and struggle. They
      tried to live a semi-monastic life there in the world, in an apartment
      until we were finally blessed with our present dwelling here on Warren
      Street. She and Nina Seco came to dwell in the house on Orchard Street,
      beginning the new convent. And so, there she was from the beginning. So,
      she's our first nun. And, if it hadn't been for her courageous efforts
      we don't know if we would have had a convent today. Therefore, we are
      very indebted to her, to her courage and her labors. And, she loved the
      life. She was like a person who had gotten fresh air. I think one of the
      most difficult things for Mother Matrona was when old age set in.
      Because, she was such a person, who was up early in the morning, going
      from morning to night, full of activity, finding time to say her
      prayers. Work and prayer was her life. When old age came, the body
      didn't want to co-operate and it was a very difficult concept for
      someone who was bright and full of life. Therefore, when you say move
      body, and the body didn't want to move with you, and, old age was very
      difficult for her. Yet, even as she increased in old age, yet, she would
      be pushing and doing what she could in order to fulfil her monastic
      So, we come to give rest to our dear mother, a pioneer in this country,
      a very noble soul, a person who loved our Saviour. And, she was an
      example in many realms, she was human in many realms, as we all are, and
      that's when we always come to entreat our Saviour's mercy. For as we
      chant in the funeral hymn, only our Saviour saves us. And, only our
      Saviour was free when He reposed. All of us are tied down by our earthly
      passions and weaknesses. Yet, she struggled and God blessed her to have
      such a wonderful end. For she was there, bedridden, and just a sweet
      little thing, there in her bed, waiting for the time that God would take
      her soul. An example of patience, an example of endurance. And, she
      withered away and she lost pound after pound, where she became just that
      little thing that she is now, laying in the coffin. Alert, her mind
      clear, hearing the services, understanding the services. I remember when
      we came to give her Communion, just a little while ago before she
      reposed. There she was, just like almost comatose. And yet, quite alert.
      Her mouth opened like she was without breath and we put Communion in her
      mouth and we said, "Mother Matrona, close your mouth, you're taking
      Communion." She closed her mouth when she took Communion. Her last
      Communion of her life.
      So, we entreat our dear Saviour that He give her boldness. And then, in
      her boldness that she remember the example of love that the sisters gave
      her. For she had the best nurses that one could have. They sacrificed
      sleep, they sacrificed work, the workload doubled because others had to
      be nurses to Mother Matrona. And, they showed such an example of the
      perfect old age home for anybody. Come and repose amongst those who love
      you and to be taken care of in a way that no one could take care of you.
      And, hope that if she does find boldness, that she'll remember her
      benefactors also, that gave her such a peaceful and comfortable ending.
      And, that she might say hello also, to our beloved Mother Stephania,
      whom they were under for so many years. In the struggle together as they
      built the convent that we have today. And, as our convent is growing, in
      spirit and stature, in the grace of God. So, we thank our dear Saviour
      for His holy blessings and for the ability we have to die in the
      Orthodox faith. The confession of true faith. The ability we have to
      think of life everlasting and the hope of eternal bliss with our
      Saviour. And, we ask our Saviour to bless our dear, beloved Mother
      Matrona and to grant her life everlasting. And, that in that time she
      will remember us also. Amen.


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